Pop quiz - what do the Oscar winning star of Forrest Gump, second in line to the English throne, creator of the most taste bud tantalising philanthropic salad dressing on the market and a supermodel extraordinaire have in common?
No. They’ve not all been left with a feeling of melancholic disappointment after watching anything M Night Shyamalan directed post Signs. No… They’re not all horrified to learn that Ke$ha’s “Tik-Tok” sold more copies than any Beatles single… Really. Although we’re sure they would be were they aware of the fact. No – the common denominator linking Mr Tom Hanks, HRH Prince Charles, the late great Paul Newman and Ms Cindy “aging backwards” Crawford is the fact that they all met their current – or until death-did-them-part – spouses while actively involved in relationships with other people.
That’s right. When Hanks and wife Rita Wilson met, way back in 1984, he was married to his college girlfriend, a lady called Samantha Lewes who was also the mother of his two eldest children. And – that’s not all; Rita wasn’t exactly single and ready to mingle. Oh no – the fourth finger of her left hand was appropriately adorned to signal future intentions of marrying some other guy.
Despite this, the couple grew close while filming Volunteers and, after Hanks divorced his wife in 1987 and Wilson broke it off with her fiancé, they hooked up, with Rita later telling Vanity Fair “I didn’t know what being in love was until I met Tom”. Hanks had equally high praise for Wilson; “It was a complete and utter kind of acceptance of me on her part,” he has said. “It was a love that was unconditional.”
Home-wreckers or happily-ever-after – can a happy lasting union really come from an affair?
The couple, who went on to cement their partnership, marrying in 1988 and have since had two children of their own, recently celebrating their twenty-fourth wedding anniversary publicly via Twitter, with Tom posting a wedding day snap and Rita tweeting “Happy 24th Anniversary to the love of my life Tom Hanks,” “…”It feels like 24 hours. Did we just get married?”. After notching up over two decades together as what’s arguably the most rock solid relationship in Hollywood, it would certainly seem so.
Even royalty aren’t immune to the pull of extra-marital infidelities… Prince Charles married the late Lady Diana in ‘81 in a frothy taffeta fairytale wedding extravaganza, watched by over 750 million people. The world took to the shy and beautiful people’s princess immediately, despite this Charles had alternate interests to following the “…forsaking all others” element of his vows…
Diana would later state to BBC’s Panorama, following their divorce, that there had been “… three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded” – referring to Charles’ ongoing affair with childhood sweetheart, Camilla Parker Bowles.
It had been deemed that Parker-Bowles, a divorcee, would make an unsuitable bride for the future king and in many ways the often fraught and unhappy union between Charles and Diana had not been a love-match. The couple divorced in ‘96 and Diana was tragically killed in a car accident the following year. Charles and Camilla maintained a low profile until 1999 when they officially confirmed their status as a couple before going on to marry six years later. The prince and his new wife, who’d initially been involved in the early 70’s, recently celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary and can regularly be seen together at public events. A horrific betrayal of trust or written in the stars…?
The late Paul Newman, star of stage, screen, the boardroom and massive benefactor of worthy causes was actually married with three small children when he met Joanne Woodward whilst performing on Broadway. He left his wife, divorced her and went on to marry Joanne. The couple had been married for fifty years – only parted by his passing in ‘08. Newman famously said regarding infidelity in relation to his second wife, “Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?”.
While Cindy Crawford didn’t strictly get involved in any extra-curricular activities, she was married when she met future second husband Rande Gerber – to a certain Mr Richard Gere. Her agent set her up with Rande as an escort to his wedding and they formed a friendship.
When her marriage to Gere ended in ‘94, she and Gerber reconnected, getting spliced in ’98 before going on to have two children and recently celebrated fourteen years of marriage – with Cindy, somehow looking even more spectacular now than she did then…
Having said that – meeting your future love while still involved with your current doesn’t have the greatest success rate… A study by Frank Pittman has found that the divorce rate among those who married their lovers was 75%, this doesn’t take into consideration the 9 out of 10 people who never actually leave their spouse after having an affair.
With recent revelations regarding Kristen Stewart’s alleged full-blown affair with married director Rupert Sanders, leading to statements of regret from them both, it’s highly unlikely this one’s got a fairytale ending.
Rumors ran rife regarding the role of Abbie Cornish in Ryan Phillipe and Reese Witherpsoon’s marriage breakdown. While Phillipe and Cornish gave things a go after the couple had officially parted, the affair wasn’t one built to last and they split, according to People magazine, following his questionable fidelity in the relationship. Who’da though it…
With all of the associated complexities of a relationship that has it’s origins in infidelity; trust issues can be a major factor as can disapproval from friends, family members and – in the case of the rich and famous – the general un-adoring public – it’s little wonder these unions don’t always progress from the thrill of the early days into domestic bliss. The Pittman study also states that intervention of reality, guilt, expectations and general suspicions regarding marriage all have a part to play.
So… fulfilling their destiny or following selfish desires? Well – to quote Spinoza… No matter how thin you slice it, there will always be two sides.
Chloe Taylor is a quirky Welsh copywriter with a flair for life coaching and champagne drinking.
Selma: Affairs really suck, but they happen and are more common than you can imagine. People end up getting hurt and heartbroken, it just means it wasn’t meant to be or you two were not putting in that extra effort. Just remember if you have just been burned chances are your partner is going to end up having a relationship with the person they cheated on you with. Get up, get out and get over it. Let them have each other and you do you. Get back into the dating scene full tilt but before setting up that dating profile read this article.
Giulia: Can an affair be stopped or can things be done to prevent infidelity in a relationship? YES! One thing for sure is that we are all capable of actively working on our relationships to keep our spouse or even ourselves (yes… YOU!) from cheating. I recommend this DiscoveryGame educate couples on how they can prevent an affair.